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206                             THE GAY GENIUS

on the back of a stork. The most important element in this external
pill was a mercury compound. At this point the art of prolonging
life and the search for transmutation of gold were hopelessly mixed up
together, just as in European alchemy. Of course, to a philosopher,,
if one could live to a grand old age in good health and have goldj
to spend, going to heaven could become secondary. What more could?
a man ask of God ?

Su Tungpo's brother was ahead of him in following yoga practise,
having begun it, according to Tseyu's own testimony, as far back as
1669. He had learned it from the Taoist priest Li, who was once asked
to cure the ailments of Su Tungpo's second son by blowing "spirit"
into his belly. When Tseyu came to Huaiyang to see his brother off
to Huangchow, Su Tungpo observed a new glow of vitality in his
brother's appearance. Tseyu had suffered in his childhood from indi-
gestion in summer and cough in autumn, and medicine had proved oL
no avail. He now claimed that by following yoga deep breathing ana
concentration, he had been cured. When Su Tungpo arrived at Huang-
chow, besides occupying himself with Buddhist scriptures, he also shut
himself up in a Taoist temple for forty-nine days, beginning from the
winter solstice of 1080. As we have seen in his record on the Ankuo
Temple, he was occupied with Buddhist meditations. Shutting himself
up in a Taoist temple, Tienchingkuan, on the other hand, was definitely
?for the practise of fasting and deep breathing exercises, which, curi-
ously, were developed more by Taoist priests than by Buddhists,
although these practises undoubtedly came from India with the
dhist priests. At the same time he wrote to the chief magistrate
Wuchang to ask formulas for methods of treating cinnabar, and in o
of his poems he said that a room had been set aside in the Linkao
House with a furnace for experiments in search of the magic pill.

His letter to Wang Kung gives the best all-round view of the factors
involved in the practise.

"When I was at Huchow, I took several ounces of a soft mer-
curial ointment given me by Chang Fangping, and felt it did me a
lot of good and could be taken continuously. Tseyu came yesterday
to Chenchow to say good-bye, and I saw his healthy complexion and
the bright twinkle in his eyes. At night he regulates his abdon^M
breathing and is able to hear a rumble in his belly. His method!?
something which we all have often discussed together, but he has;
the persistence to carry on. Indulgence in sex is a kind of fire that
burns up the body, and I hope you can see through illusions of sense
with your spiritual eyes. In addition to this, one should live a simple,
frugal life." . . .

**Someone has recently given me large crystals of cinnabar^ which